If you've ever spent too long staring at your bookshelves, you might have seen the titles of some of the books begin to relate to one another. A little careful rearranging, and perhaps you could even make a short phrase jump out.
This is Book Spine Poetry.
Online curator and storyteller Maria Popova created some earlier this year; libraries have held contests around them; every year, this website hosts a gallery of efforts; there are plenty of Pinterest images under the 'book spine poetry' tag, and we've even had a try at it.
However, the most skilled person in the genre is probably professional artist Nina Katchadourian. She's also perhaps one of the longest ongoing book spine/title poets - her project, Sorted Books, arranging books by their titles to create new phrases, began in 1993.
Next spring, Chronicle Books will publish a look back at 20 years of the project. Meantime, Katchadourian currently has an exhibit in Delaware in which she uses a local collection of old books to create new Sorted Books phrases.
Here below are images from her Delaware exhibition. Take a look, and then why not try make some of your own?
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